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government agreed to sell two of their best raphaels. one was the alba madonna, for which mellon offered the highest price ever paid for a painting up to that time. the other was raphael's small saint george and the dragon, an early work with an illustrious history. along with the rest of his collection, mellon's three raphaels formed the nucleus of the national gallery, founded in 1937 and opened to the public in 1941. president franklin roosevelt: "this national gallery and the collections it contains..." narrator: the raphaels in the national gallery were joined by another painting by the artist, the portit of bindo altoviti, purchased by chain store magnate samuel kress. on berenson's recommendation, kress bought the portrait from a european museum. today, it is generally accepted as a work by the master's hand. it was not only nostalgia for the past which led american collectors to pursue raphael, nor was it merely rivalry with each other. these collectors shared a sense of cultural responsibility. the raphaels, once in private hands, are now all in public museums where they can be
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